|Kawasaki ZXR750 which John Barton will be riding in the Classic TT|
This year Wemoto will be sponsoring John Barton and Dan Kneen who will both be riding in the TT and the Classic TT. Here's a bit about John Barton, his racing career to date and what he will be doing this year on the Isle of Man.
John Barton, is a sports injury therapist who lives on the Isle Of Man and has been road racing for twenty-five years. In that time he has raced almost every type of solo machine. His racing career began as a teenager competing on his father's classic Aermacchis. Having attained his International licence John moved onto modern 125cc machinery which he campaigned both at National and European Championship level as well as the Isle of Man TT.
With experience under his belt he rapidly progressed up to Superbikes which John raced at the British championships, World Superbike and the TT races. He has always been interested in Endurance racing and has won National events as well as scoring points at World Championship level riding Ducatis.
However, John's first love has always been and remains the TT Mountain Course. Unfortunately he has not been the luckiest of riders and almost certain TT victory has been denied him on at least two occasions when leading the Singles TT by a huge margin. Nevertheless, John has twice finished on the TT podium and is the second fastest rider EVER on a single cylinder machine around the TT course with a lap in excess of 112mph. In addition to racing singles at the TT John successfully campaigned a Ducati Super mono all over Europe finishing 3rd in the championship as well as winning on the bike at Daytona in 1999.
A regular replica winner John's TT Mountain Course experience is now put to good use by the race organisers who have appointed him Race Liaison Officer. One of his duties is to mentor newcomers to the TT and Classic TT races by guiding them around the circuit imparting his detailed knowledge both as a racer and a local man, making every effort to make the Mountain Course challenge both a memorable and safe experience.
John will be racing in this year's TT and Classic TT and will be sponsored by Wemoto.
The Lightweight TT
John has entered the Lightweight Race in the TT under the Wemoto banner.
This race is for modified roadster twin cylinder fourstroke machines. The Suzuki SV650 and Kawasaki 650 machines are the weapons of choice in this race and John will be riding a modified Kawasaki ER6. Requirements for the bikes in this race are that they must utilise the original manufacturer's frame and engine modifications are strictly limited, including retaining the original injector bodies.
John's bike has undergone a major refit this season in an effort to eliminate a problem that persisted all last year - namely as races wore on the bike just got slower and slower! It was difficult to get to the bottom of the problem and the bike was checked for either ignition or overheating issues in an attempt to find out what the trouble was. However, having changed the wiring loom, modified the airbox and fitted a new larger radiator the bike now has 93bhp at the rear wheel, NO problems and is raring to go!!
After the TT the bike will be raced next at the Southern 100 races on the Billown circuit in July.
It's a Kwacker
John also has a newly acquired 750 Kawasaki to play with which has been on the Dyno and produces a very healthy 140bhp at the rear wheel. Not having been raced since 1997 some caution was exercised when preparing the bike but John now feels confident enough to enter the bike, sponsored the Wemoto, in the Pre TT Classic races on the Billown road circuit at the end of May.
This is traditionally the curtain raiser for the official TT Race programme and will provide valuable feedback ready for setting the bike up for the Classic TT at the end of August.
It's all beginning to get interesting now as the build up to the Isle of ManTT and Classic TT is really getting going with the launch party on April the tenth(today)...watch this space for more news reports.